Time to... Think Upmarket
It sure isn’t a pretty economic picture out there these days, especially in the mass market—in fact, all the way up to the upper-middle-class, or people who could tentatively describe themselves as millionaires.
Lots of people who were living above their means, highly leveraged through credit cards and other debt, are in bad financial shape for this economic downturn, and even those of reasonable means who are debt-free and doing OK are jittery and uncertain to say the least. The result has been an almost complete slowdown at retail and lots of talk that the worst is yet to come. The holiday season could be a bloodbath for consumer electronics dealers, among many other retailers. And when economists and business analysts talk about 2009, they talk about massive layoffs unprecedented in scope.
In other words, relief does not appear to be in sight. As a result, consumers who don’t already own, say, HDTVs, likely won’t be in the market for one soon. All of this brings me to my central point: If you’re a hybrid specialty dealer, doing half or more of your business as retail, you are in a potential world of hurt right now. If the struggles of Circuit City and the liquidation of Tweeter aren’t enough evidence that retail is a struggle at best for the small electronics dealer, I don’t know what is.
At this time, in this extremely stressed economy, you must ask yourself: In a down economy, who is still buying the things that I am selling?
Take a Trip to Easy Street
The answer is to think upmarket. Way upmarket. We’re talking CEOs and above. Athletes, pop stars, hedge fund managers. If you’re already there, you’re likely not nearly as stressed-out right now as those looking to sell to the troubled, cash-strapped, antsy middle managers who live in the countless McMansion developments all across this great land of ours. They might be interested in hearing from you in the future, but not right now.
If you’re not attacking the very top of the market, you need to get there as soon as you can and try to establish yourself and what you can do for the ultra-wealthy.